Constipation, in medical terms, is defined as a condition in which an individual is having less than three stools in one week and if an individual is having less than one stool in one week then it is defined as severe constipation. The objective of an effective treatment for constipation is to ensure that one bowel undertaking every two to three days without straining.
Different conditions and factors can cause constipation such as:
- Low intake of fiber,
- Poor bowel habits,
- Hormonal disorders,
- Misuse of laxatives,
- Certain medical conditions of other body parts that also affect the colon, and
- High levels of certain hormones like estrogen and progesterone throughout pregnancy.
Patients should immediately consult the physician if this is of unexpected onset, severe, getting worse, related with other bothersome symptoms like loss of weight, or when the condition is not improving with the safe, simple and treatments.
Traditionally, people are using natural remedies and home treatments to get relief from constipation and these include dietary changes, fiber supplements, and exercise. Along with these, people are also using essential oils to manage constipation.
Some facts about using essential oils for constipation:
- According to research, some of the essential oils may provide the best ways to treat constipation.
- Infrequent constipation is typically not a cause for worry.
- A diet without fiber mostly and commonly causes constipation.
WHY ESSENTIAL OILS USED FOR CONSTIPATION?
Constipation can be effectively treated with essential oils only when certain oils used in the correct way.
Because the essential oils are much concentrated, it is recommended not to use them at full strength. Generally, the best ways to use essential oils include:
- dilute them with any carrier oil, like olive oil or coconut oil before applying them on the skin
- inhale them through a diffuser that is specifically designed for these essential oils
- mix them with any other product, like a body lotion
- apply them to a warm, damp washcloth that is used as a hot compress
WHAT ARE THE 5 ESSENTIAL OILS USED TO TREAT CONSTIPATION?
These oils are basically fragrant oils that are extracted from the plants and have been used for a very long time for treating different ailments including digestive problems. Here are the 5 most effective essential oils for constipation:
One of the best essential oils for constipation, ginger oil is extensively used in foods due to its flavor while ginger is also a widely-known cure for nausea and digestive distraught. Because of the benefits of ginger oil for digestive health, oil has been an important part of Chinese and Indian medical treatment for eras.
As the ginger oil is very much concentrated than the complete root, the best way to use it is for a warm and soothing compress on the abdomen.
Add 2 drops to a wet towel that is soaked in hot water but be careful, the water temperature should not too hot. After that, lie down and put the towel directly to the stomach for some minutes. When the towel is cooled, massage the stomach with it in a clockwise motion for around 2-3 minutes.
It contains a component called, menthol which gives a “cooling” effect to the oil.
For treating mild constipation and stomach discomfort, mix one drop of the peppermint oil with 3-4 drops of carrier oil that are warmed and massage the stomach. Make sure to be gentle while massaging the oil in the targeted area in a round motion. Doing this massage 3 times per day gives the best results, provided that there is no irritation.
This is due to the fact that menthol in the peppermint oil can give irritation to some types of skin. So, if an individual feels burning or redness, he/she should wash the oil and stop using it further.
According to an article that was published in “BioMed Research International”, fennel helps with different types of digestive diseases, also including constipation. It is mentioned in the article that the volatile components of the fennel essential oil are being some of the greatest, powerful parts of the plant.
Fennel oil when applied through a massage to the abdomen or inhaled through the diffuser, it helps in the movement of intestines. Add 2 drops of fennel essential oil to carrier oil and then massage the stomach in a clockwise motion. At the start, make smaller circles around the navel then slowly increase their size.
If a person wants extra relief then he/she can add a few oil drops to a diffuser and inhale it at the same time while doing the massage.
The soothing properties of lavender have been used for a long time to help stimulate relaxation and tranquil.
When diffusing lavender, it will certainly help an individual to be relaxed and relieved from stress, which may be supportive for digestive problems, such as stomach discomfort, constipation, and gas.
Chamomile oil can be used alone or in the form of a mixture with lavender oil that helps to relax the muscles in the abdominal part. This helps in improving the gut motility and providing relief from sluggish bowel and bloating.
Dilute these essential oils with the carrier oil and apply it to two fingertips and massage the abdomen in a clockwise direction for three times every day.
Are there any risks or side effects of using the essential oils to relieve constipation?
- It is not recommended to take essential oils orally as some of them are toxic.
- When essential oils are inhaled or massaged (diluted) onto the skin, it gives the feeling of aromatherapy.
- Essential oils are safe to be used for many individuals.
- Adults are safe to use those essential oils that contain menthols such as peppermint or spearmint oils, but infants and young kids should avoid using these oils.
- Pregnant women and nursing females shouldn’t use essential oils because there is no adequate research to confirm that these all oils are safe for them.
ARE THERE ANY PRECAUTIONS NEED TO TAKE WHILE USING THE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR CONSTIPATION?
Most importantly, essential oils should be used by diluting them with carrier oils before applying to the skin. It protects you from possible complications like skin irritation, burning or rash.
Secondly, Utilize an infuser to draw in essential oils or have them saturate the air in your particular space; if you don’t have an infuser, you can boil a small amount of any essential oil in a vessel of water and breathe in the steam.
Normally, constipation can be treated at home by using essential oils. But, if the constipation is severe, chronic or related to any other health condition, proper medical treatment is needed from a professional physician.
If you have any other health issue then you should discuss with the doctor before using any natural, home remedy.